Even though we’ve all had plenty of time since yesterday to make up our minds regarding the 2019 Mercedes-Benz CLS, now we also know what makes it tick underneath.
We should begin by saying that the overall styling of the car is of course instantly recognizable thanks to its clear contours and high waistline. According to Mercedes, the third-generation CLS is supposed to reflect “the timeless aura of the first CLS”, which as you know, basically invented this segment.The all-new 2019 CLS will go on sale in the U.S. by Fall 2018, although other markets will get it starting in March.“The new CLS is a design icon as the archetype of the four-door coupe. In line with our hot & cool design philosophy, we have reduced its DNA to an extremely puristic level while emotionally charging its beauty,” says Gorden Wagener, Daimler’s chief design officer.
A fresher spin on a familiar design
At the front, there’s a little bit of AMG GT to it, especially if you look at the how the silhouette of the grille widens towards the base. Meanwhile, the headlights feature inward-slating flanks and follow the contour of the grille. As for the taillights, like the headlights they are LEDs and feature a crystalline appearance with a three-dimensional effect. Their shape and positioning is meant to accentuate the width of the new CLS. Still, it’s no so different from the outgoing model.
Inside, you’ll find the same clear and elegant lines you get on the E-Class, plus the illuminated air vents and hand-finished appearance of the seats. The wide-screen cockpit displays are available as optional extras, while the ambience lighting is individually adjustable in 64 different colors – including on the previously-mentioned air vents. A cool little touch was having the ambience lighting briefly change color whenever the temperature of the air conditioning system is changed. So, you’ve got red for warmer and blue for cooler.
In terms of practicality, the Mercedes-Benz CLS is now, for the very first time, a true five-seater. When even more room is required, the backrests can fold down in a 40/20/40 ratio, boosting the 520-liter (18.3 cu.ft) luggage compartment’s capacity even more.
Can I borrow your tech, S-Class?
On the safety front, the new CLS borrows heavily from the facelifted S-Class. This means it’s got the latest generation of driving assistance systems such as Active Brake Assist, Lane Keeping Assist, Attention Assist, Speed Limit Assist and PRE-SAFE. All are standard by the way. Optional tech includes the Driving Assistance Package featuring Active Distance Control, Active Steering Assist, Active Speed Limit Assist, Active Brake Assist with cross-traffic function, Evasive Steering Assist, Active Blind Spot Assist, Active Lane Keeping Assist and PRE-SAFE Plus.
Also meant to improve safety are the multibeam LED headlights with Ultra Range high beam, where the brightness of the main beam lamps remains above the reference value of 1 lux over a distance of more than 650 meters (0.4 miles).
A completely new engine range
The all-new 2019 Mercedes-Benz CLS is available with a choice of two diesels and a petrol unit – specifically as a CLS 350d 4MATIC, CLS 400d 4MATIC and CLS 450 4MATIC, the latter (petrol) being the only option you have in the U.S.
In fact, the CLS 450 4MATIC utilizes a completely new in-line six-cylinder power unit with EQ Boost and a 48-volt on-board electric system. It puts down 370 PS (362 HP) and 500 Nm (369 lb-ft) of torque, while the EQ Boost function adds another 22 PS (21 HP) and 250 Nm (184 lb-ft). This adds up to a combined fuel consumption of 7.5 liters/100km (31.3 US mpg) and a 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) acceleration time of 4.8 seconds.
As for the diesels, we’re talking about a 3.0-liter in-line six-cylinder engine, producing 340 PS (335 HP) and 700 Nm (516 lb-ft) in the CLS 400d and 286 PS (282 HP) and 600 Nm (442 lb-ft) in the CLS 350d. Both models have combined fuel consumption figures of 5.6l/100km (42 US mpg) and 0-100 km/h times of 5.0 seconds and 5.7 seconds respectively.
Furthermore, an electrified CLS 53 hybrid is rumored to debut at the 2018 Detroit Auto Show, sending a total of 429 horses to the wheels.
Mercedes will kick off CLS’ launch with the Edition 1 special
Those who want their new CLS to be even more exclusive can opt for the Edition 1 launch model, which features a Copper Art interior concept with black pearl nappa leather seats, copper-colored accents and contrast top stitching (on the center console, seats, armrests, dashboard and door linings), IWC analogue clock with an exclusive dial face, gloss black vehicle key, ‘Edition 1’ floor mats, chrome ‘Edition 1’ lettering on the center console and ‘Edition 1’ displayed on the welcome screen.
As for its exterior styling, the Edition 1 is based on the AMG Line, which means you get LED Intelligent Light headlights as standard and 19″ multi-spoke AMG alloys painted black, plus ‘Edition 1’ lettering on the front fenders.
Article updated with LA Auto Show images and videos